My ultimate dream home and other magazine memories

22 October 2014

As y’all know, I just finished sorting through the boxes my parents brought to our house from my childhood home. Though I brought a good chunk of my things when we first moved to North Carolina, there was a lot still left up north – we weren’t sure how long we were going to be here and we were only moving to an apartment, so we didn’t have that much room for storage! The remnants have been slowly migrating for the last few years, whenever my parents had room in their suitcases. The pile I just finished tackling represented the last big haul, so working through it felt like the completion of an epic project!


There were all sorts of goodies to sort through, including Irish dance trophies, elementary school yearbooks, and graduation gifts, but the bulk was magazine clippings. I’ve been a continual subscriber to Better Homes & Gardens and Martha Stewart Weddings since the seventh grade, and kept meticulous manila files of my favorite tear-outs over the years. I tossed the majority, but when I got to the Coastal Living Idea House from 2001 (13 years ago!), I stopped. It’s the first home inspiration I remember saving, and after all these years, it’s still my ultimate dream home. That porch!!

coastal living nov 2001

As I sat on the floor of our spare room and flipped through the pages, I was overcome by a really sweet feeling – a realization that I now have what that 14-year-old self dreamed about: a home of my very own, shared with the one I love most. Pretty amazing.

coastal living idea house 2002 2

Some folks asked to see more when I posted this on instagram, so I thought I’d share a few more scanned shots here! After all, I may have a house of my own, but I think I’ll still keep this one around for future inspiration :)

coastal living idea house 2002

coastal living idea house 2002 4

coastal living idea house 2002 3

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 10.30.16 PM

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 10.30.34 PM

Ten years after the Coastal Living feature, my jaw dropped when I flipped the page in Better Homes & Gardens and saw my house (or a very similar one in the same community) featured! It was so fun to see more angles:






And just for fun, a few more random clippings that made the “save” pile and were scanned for Pinterest posting:

bhg june 2006

bhg feb 2003

bhg june 2008

bhg march 2005

bhg november 2005


It’s comforting to be reminded that some things never go out of style, isn’t it?

Do you have an ultimate dream home? If so, please share! If it’s online, I’d love to take a peek :)

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Kelly E.
October 22, 2014 10:48 am

Oh, my gosh! I have that same Coastal Living home clipped and tucked in a folder of my own! It’s the ideal house, and I find that my Pinterest board is filled with small bits and pieces that are inspired by that CL home: My dream home is anything Southern-inspired with a big kitchen, a big porch, soft, neutral colors, and decorated with land-inspired collectibles along the way.

October 22, 2014 8:43 pm

I can see why you were so taken with it!

October 23, 2014 9:52 am

I’ve kept a folder of my dream home and favorite floor plans (almost all from Southern Living!) since I was about ten or so – it’s at my parents’ home, and I love looking through it when I visit home. My all time favorite home from that inspiration folder looks much like yours here – a white, coastal-ish home with tons of big windows and a gigantic front porch. My taste really hasn’t evolved all that much since then, as I have long loved southern homes and cozy yet beautiful interiors. It’s so fun looking through childhood dreams and seeing where you are today!

Victoria B
October 23, 2014 3:10 pm

I love the dream house but I would really love to hear about what you actually DID with all that stuff you went through. I have been working on a similar project and threw a lot of it away, but there is still some stuff that I am not sure what to do with. Thanks!

October 28, 2014 2:36 pm

I love this home!

My husband and I actually have the same dream home. Well, kind of.

We started dating just after I had moved to South Carolina, and seeing all the huge porches I had always dreamed about (secretly) as a little girl already had me swooning hard for my new town, Beaufort. One day after we had walked around the city’s oldest neighborhood, Chris pulled out a stack of Architectural Digest magazines he had been saving for years. I was flipping through them when I noticed an odd man out: an issue of Cottage Living. I grabbed that and immediately started going on and on about how much I loved the main home in that issue, their 2007 Idea Home which was a shotgun-style home in New Orleans (but, go figure, was built as a modular home in South Carolina). When I paused for a second, Chris told me it was his dream home, too.

We were already falling in love, but that moment was a very singular one in the early days of our relationship. One of the first hints that this was more than just another boyfriend/girlfriend for us both! Now, we own a home with a big porch and we’re in the process of making it our own. This was a great reminder to pull that magazine out and see if there’s any ideas we can steal!